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tattletale

[tat-l-teyl]
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noun
  1. a talebearer or informer, especially among children.
adjective
  1. telltale; revealing: a tattletale smear of lipstick on his collar.

Origin of tattletale

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; tattle + tale
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tattletale

Historical Examples

  • He wanted a dog to help him hunt, but he did not want a tattletale.

    The Magic Speech Flower

    Melvin Hix

  • That First Lieutenant of ours either has eyes in the back of his head or else the Sergeant is a tattletale.

    Conscript 2989

    Irving Crump

  • Course, I didn't need to worry, because Stinky told them all right, just like a tattletale.


British Dictionary definitions for tattletale

tattletale

noun mainly US and Canadian
  1. a scandalmonger or gossip
  2. another word for telltale (def. 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tattletale

n.

formed in English 1888 from tattle + tale. Probably patterned on telltale (1540s). A 16c. word for "tattle-tale" was pickthank.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper